West Kelowna wants public input on truck routes

Council holds off approving designated routes so it can hear from residents and the WFN.

West Kelowna council wants to hear more from the public before making a final decision on creating designated truck routes in the city.

Council gave first reading to a bylaw amendment intended to regulate the movement of commercial trucks in West Kelowna Tuesday. It had requested a report on truck routes back in 2015 after receiving a presentation from a delegation from the Canyon Ridge neighbourhood, which indicated concern trucks were avoiding Highway 97 and using local roads instead.

The bylaw changes are intended to define truck routes to divert commercial truck traffic away from residential areas where there may be inadequate infrastructure to support truck traffic. Currently, there are no designated truck routes in the city, meaning heavy trucks can use any and all roads.

The proposed bylaw would designate seven roads as truck routes that could be used between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. and another three that could be used 24-hours-per day.

West Kelowna spokeswoman Kirsten Jones said the principles of the draft regulations are that Highway 97 would be the main route for heavy trucks and trucks would only be able only use the city’s road network when necessary to conduct business and then, would have to use the designated truck routes.

The city says the benefits of designated routes include improved pedestrian and vehicle safety, improved urban environments and reduced structural damage to roadways.

Jones said council decided it needed to hear more from the public after concerns were raised leading up to Tuesday’s council meeting.

Truck routes being proposed for use between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. include:

• Glenrosa Road between Highway 97 and City of West Kelowna border

• Gellatly Road South between Highway 97 and Gellatly Road

• Gellatly Road between Highway 97 and Boucherie Road

• Boucherie Road between Hudson Road and WFN lR#9 border

• Hudson Road between Boucherie Road and Highway 97

• Shannon Lake Road between Bartley Road and WFN lR#9 border

• Old Okanagan Road between Highway 97 and WFN lR#9 border

The proposed 24-hours-a-day routes include:

• Westlake Road between Highway 97 and Stevens Road

• Stevens Road between Westlake Road and Bartley Road

• Bartley Road between Highway 97 and Stevens Road

In addition to gathering public input, the city will also discuss the creation of designated truck routes with the Westbank First Nation as some roads through its lands could be affected.